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Thread: Is Oil the Great Issue of Our Current Saeculum?







Post#1 at 07-13-2014 01:58 PM by MK'94 [at joined Jun 2012 #posts 19]
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Is Oil the Great Issue of Our Current Saeculum?

It seems to me that each prior 4T involved an overthrowing of the institution that dominated the ending Saeculum. For example, the American Revolution overthrew the dominant institution of absolute British rule over the thirteen colonies in favor of a free, self-governing society, based upon agriculture and slavery. The Civil War then overthrew the instructions of slavery and agricultural economic dominance in favor of industrialization and wage labor. The New Deal and our entry into World War II overthrew the institution of total laissez-faire industrial policy and isolationism in favor government safety nets and military interventionism, both enabled by an oil-driven consumer economy. If I had to guess, I'd say that out current 4T will see the overthrow of the institution of oil-reliance and American imperialism. What will replace these institutions still remains to be seen. My reasoning is that oil is the primary factor that enabled America's meteoric rise during the 20th century, and is the primary factor behind every US recession since the 1970s. The oil shocks of previous decades always led to recessions. Since 2002, however, oil's price has quadrupled for the simple reason that total world oil production is reaching a peak. This is the true reason why America's economy has performed so poorly since 2000. Only by abandoning oil can we hope to save our economy, our public finances, our national security, and the health of the environment. Oil will likely be our downfall if we do not act fast enough to replace it. Open to thoughts...







Post#2 at 07-14-2014 12:56 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by MK'94 View Post
It seems to me that each prior 4T involved an overthrowing of the institution that dominated the ending Saeculum. For example, the American Revolution overthrew the dominant institution of absolute British rule over the thirteen colonies in favor of a free, self-governing society, based upon agriculture and slavery. The Civil War then overthrew the instructions of slavery and agricultural economic dominance in favor of industrialization and wage labor. The New Deal and our entry into World War II overthrew the institution of total laissez-faire industrial policy and isolationism in favor government safety nets and military interventionism, both enabled by an oil-driven consumer economy. If I had to guess, I'd say that out current 4T will see the overthrow of the institution of oil-reliance and American imperialism. What will replace these institutions still remains to be seen. My reasoning is that oil is the primary factor that enabled America's meteoric rise during the 20th century, and is the primary factor behind every US recession since the 1970s. The oil shocks of previous decades always led to recessions. Since 2002, however, oil's price has quadrupled for the simple reason that total world oil production is reaching a peak. This is the true reason why America's economy has performed so poorly since 2000. Only by abandoning oil can we hope to save our economy, our public finances, our national security, and the health of the environment. Oil will likely be our downfall if we do not act fast enough to replace it. Open to thoughts...
Very well stated, and I agree.

Of course, sometimes it takes two saeculum to fully deal with an issue; slavery in all but name continued for a century, for example; and today laissez-faire is back in a big way, but safety nets remain although reduced.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

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Eric A. Meece







Post#3 at 07-14-2014 06:45 PM by annla899 [at joined Sep 2008 #posts 2,860]
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In Battle Cry of Freedom James M. McPherson writes that two thirds of the white population in the South was non-slave-owning.







Post#4 at 07-14-2014 08:29 PM by Danilynn [at joined Dec 2012 #posts 855]
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Quote Originally Posted by annla899 View Post
In Battle Cry of Freedom James M. McPherson writes that two thirds of the white population in the South was non-slave-owning.
There were slave holding people of color too. Not many history books teach that. But it did occur.

also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pla%C3%A7age this was frequently done in parts of the south.







Post#5 at 07-14-2014 11:47 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Danilynn View Post
There were slave holding people of color too. Not many history books teach that. But it did occur.

also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pla%C3%A7age this was frequently done in parts of the south.
I read about that. The slave-owners were "free men of color", and the slaves were often family members. Such might seem incomprehensible until one recognizes one of the harsh realities of the Old South. Enslaving a free black wasn't much of an offense, but stealing a slave was a serious crime.

The free man of color often had his wife and children as slaves. He might have bought a wife from a fellow slave owner, the wife likely a daughter of that slave owner. His sons by her might be freed when they reached adulthood -- about as they took a slave as a wife. His daughters might be sold to fellow slave-holding free men of color. It might have been a male-chauvinist arrangement, but male chauvinism was the least of the ethical foibles of the slave South.

His children were apprentices disguised as slaves. But know well -- if he lost a slave to a kidnapper, he had every legal right to insist upon the return of the slave.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#6 at 07-15-2014 01:48 AM by annla899 [at joined Sep 2008 #posts 2,860]
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Quote Originally Posted by Danilynn View Post
There were slave holding people of color too. Not many history books teach that. But it did occur.

also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pla%C3%A7age this was frequently done in parts of the south.
Yep. It isn't talked about much at all. Edward P. Jones (who is black) wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a mixed-race planter and slave-owner in VA. Faulkner wrote about about Native Americans in MS owning slaves. If you wanted to feel truly successful and important in slave-owning areas, you owned people. But the non-white slave-owners were the anomaly. It does point to the notion that given a chance some people will buy into whatever the society holds up as "success." And that race is a social/cultural construct, not a scientific construct.

Slavery has been around forever--just look at the Bible. It was usually the result of war. The unique thing about US slavery is that it became race-based after a time. (And yeah, we all know that Africans captured and sold other Africans in Africa as slaves. But I suspect those African slavers thought in terms of the old biblical and Greek slaves-as-war-prize notion. Nor did they give a shit what happened to the people they conquered and sold.) It's interesting to me that early on in US history, both black and white people were indentured servants. It wasn't based on race at all. Then it became economically convenient to make it about Africans.

Heck, I live in the most segregated city in the US. Chicago. And it's in the North. Unlike some people on this board, I do not consider the South the font of all stupidity and backwardness/badness. That is so simplistic. It's not like Chicago, New York, LA, Portland, San Francisco don't have their problems--about poverty, about horrible economic disparity. But dang if it doesn't make people feel good about themselves to point at the South.

How do I know that I wouldn't have owned slaves in 1840 and justified it to myself? My ancestors did. Am I so much better?







Post#7 at 07-15-2014 01:47 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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What would be better is if we got off oil. The South leads the way in blocking this, through their GOP. But I hope we'll find a way to get off oil and other fossil fuels in one way or another, in spite of them and their House. The blue states are leading the way; that's a fact, already posted here. And some great entreprenuers like Tesla's Elon Musk. We may muddle through, in spite of the resistance by backward thinkers and the CEO's who want us to value their convenience over the sustainability of our world. Many folks will be damaged by their backwardness and greed in the meantime. We all need to take responsibility to do what we can, as soon as we can.

It would be nice if we lived in a nation that could plan as a nation for this transition, and lead the way, and not leave it all up to some individuals. Right now, it's only blue America that is doing it. But everybody can. Making excuses like hurt feelings and self-justification does not get you on the road to the new way. Take responsibility and work to help change the policies.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#8 at 07-15-2014 04:15 PM by Brian Beecher [at Downers Grove, IL joined Sep 2001 #posts 2,937]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
What would be better is if we got off oil. The South leads the way in blocking this, through their GOP. But I hope we'll find a way to get off oil and other fossil fuels in one way or another, in spite of them and their House. The blue states are leading the way; that's a fact, already posted here. And some great entreprenuers like Tesla's Elon Musk. We may muddle through, in spite of the resistance by backward thinkers and the CEO's who want us to value their convenience over the sustainability of our world. Many folks will be damaged by their backwardness and greed in the meantime. We all need to take responsibility to do what we can, as soon as we can.

It would be nice if we lived in a nation that could plan as a nation for this transition, and lead the way, and not leave it all up to some individuals. Right now, it's only blue America that is doing it. But everybody can. Making excuses like hurt feelings and self-justification does not get you on the road to the new way. Take responsibility and work to help change the policies.
How do you see the new way as playing out? I pointed out that sooner or later we are going to have to reduce said dependency, but so far few if any steps are being taken to accomplish this.







Post#9 at 07-15-2014 04:39 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Beecher View Post
How do you see the new way as playing out? I pointed out that sooner or later we are going to have to reduce said dependency, but so far few if any steps are being taken to accomplish this.
We'll probably wait until the 2020s before national policy shifts in a big way. Obama has taken some steps, as have some blue states, and maybe an occasional red state like AZ. Meanwhile, we have our consumer choices too, to shift to solar energy and electric or hydrogen cars, bike and drive less and ride transit.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#10 at 07-15-2014 06:36 PM by Danilynn [at joined Dec 2012 #posts 855]
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Eric is probably about to get his wish to see what happens when the EPA tries meddling in things this winter. It is predicted that we will have a colder winter than last year. And the coal run electrical plants are being forced into shut-down, well, not all of them this year, but enough that a strain on the grid. But, since Eric thinks I, and all southerners like me are the problem....
http://instituteforenergyresearch.or...iumoncoalstudy

from the link:

"
The report calls for an immediate moratorium on closure of coal plants to protect reliability, maintain affordability and security of our energy system for families and businesses. Key findings include:

  • Policies that hurt the U.S. coal fleet will significantly increase wholesale electric rates and could increase them by as much as 80 percent;
  • Anti-coal policies harm those who can least afford it low income families, minorities, children and the elderly;
  • By taking coal out of our energy mix, huge price increases for other electricity sources will be necessary to make sure the lights stay on;
  • Coal met 92 percent of the year-over-year incremental electricity demand during the first two months of 2014;
  • In early 2014, without coal plants, parts of New England, the Midwest and other regions would have experienced brownouts and blackouts that would have been economically disastrous and threatened human health and safety, and next winter many of those plants will not operate due to government policies;
  • U.S. coal used for electricity generation has increased 170 percent since 1970 as key emission rates have been reduced by 90 percent;
  • Key states will be especially negatively impacted, including Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia and Wyoming."



But I suppose it's ok, cause Sunny California isn't listed on the to be impacted lists.

Oh, wait...Connecticut is in the New England area...and we all know it's the bestest state ever by Golly gee whiz.
Guess we all get to find out how well we adapt to extreme cold.







Post#11 at 07-15-2014 10:00 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
We'll probably wait until the 2020s before national policy shifts in a big way. Obama has taken some steps, as have some blue states, and maybe an occasional red state like AZ. Meanwhile, we have our consumer choices too, to shift to solar energy and electric or hydrogen cars, bike and drive less and ride transit.
Except for Florida, the state that will most be burned by global warming will be Arizona. Florida will shrink and get less livable. The most populous parts of Arizona will become increasingly Hellish.

Phoenix is still unusually R despite its population density... but don't worry. As it becomes more populous it will have more high-rise buildings with renters who will depend upon public transportation, and those voters, heavily Hispanic, will have no stake in right-wing, low-service government.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#12 at 07-16-2014 11:10 AM by Brian Beecher [at Downers Grove, IL joined Sep 2001 #posts 2,937]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
Except for Florida, the state that will most be burned by global warming will be Arizona. Florida will shrink and get less livable. The most populous parts of Arizona will become increasingly Hellish.

Phoenix is still unusually R despite its population density... but don't worry. As it becomes more populous it will have more high-rise buildings with renters who will depend upon public transportation, and those voters, heavily Hispanic, will have no stake in right-wing, low-service government.
What about California? It was just in the news yesterday that they are imposing water restrictions in wake of the multi-year severe drought they have been witness to. Some of the measures are voluntary yet some have been mandated with hefty fines for violators. As for Phoenix and much of the West, it has been my understanding that the desert soil could not support high-rise building such as those found in moister, more temperate climes such as the large cities of the Northeast and Midwest. But we still have to wait and watch for new leaders to emerge. Does anyone think this will happen within the next twelve months?







Post#13 at 07-16-2014 12:01 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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I'm so glad the EPA has acted; it needs to get much tougher. Coal is ruining our climate, and pollutes the environment. We need to switch to renewable energy. Backward and short-sighted policies like those Danilynn supports will keep people hooked on coal, as if there is no alternative. But Germany is showing the way, and will do so more quickly.

The convenience and comfort of the people will not be affected by switching to renewable energy; only the convenience of the fossil fuel company CEOs who are now increasingly required to make the switch. In the long run, everyone will benefit. Mississippi and Texas et al need to learn how their true interests are served. Ever-increasing droughts, floods and hurricanes are not good for them; neither are smog and soot. The new solar and wind industries will be good for them. Electric and hydrogen cars will be good for them.
Last edited by Eric the Green; 07-16-2014 at 12:03 PM.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#14 at 07-16-2014 12:22 PM by Danilynn [at joined Dec 2012 #posts 855]
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California will run out of water soon. But us backward ass hicks aren't any time soon. Enjoy your drought







Post#15 at 07-16-2014 12:30 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Danilynn View Post
California will run out of water soon. But us backward ass hicks aren't any time soon. Enjoy your drought
Maybe we need you to come help us manage our water.

(actually, I think we'll manage OK; at least we are doing something about the cause of the shortage; you "backward ass hicks" aren't.)

(and I might add, non-recalcitrant backward ass hicks)
Last edited by Eric the Green; 07-17-2014 at 01:56 AM.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#16 at 07-16-2014 01:12 PM by Brian Beecher [at Downers Grove, IL joined Sep 2001 #posts 2,937]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
I'm so glad the EPA has acted; it needs to get much tougher. Coal is ruining our climate, and pollutes the environment. We need to switch to renewable energy. Backward and short-sighted policies like those Danilynn supports will keep people hooked on coal, as if there is no alternative. But Germany is showing the way, and will do so more quickly.

The convenience and comfort of the people will not be affected by switching to renewable energy; only the convenience of the fossil fuel company CEOs who are now increasingly required to make the switch. In the long run, everyone will benefit. Mississippi and Texas et al need to learn how their true interests are served. Ever-increasing droughts, floods and hurricanes are not good for them; neither are smog and soot. The new solar and wind industries will be good for them. Electric and hydrogen cars will be good for them.
However, one problem that switching to electric and hydrogen cars won't solve is that of snarling traffic congestion. This is why I believe that sooner rather than later we will need to take steps to reduce our near total dependency (except for those living in or near the center of older large cities) on the auto. So far it seems as if little or nothing is being done to address this aspect of the issue.







Post#17 at 07-16-2014 01:16 PM by annla899 [at joined Sep 2008 #posts 2,860]
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Can't say that us Great Lake folks will run out of water, either. I just hope it remains potable. Thank goodness we have people here who do the work Danilynn does.







Post#18 at 07-17-2014 01:54 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Beecher View Post
However, one problem that switching to electric and hydrogen cars won't solve is that of snarling traffic congestion. This is why I believe that sooner rather than later we will need to take steps to reduce our near total dependency (except for those living in or near the center of older large cities) on the auto. So far it seems as if little or nothing is being done to address this aspect of the issue.
That's a good point you have made before, yes.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

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Post#19 at 07-17-2014 07:26 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Danilynn View Post
California will run out of water soon. But us backward ass hicks aren't any time soon. Enjoy your drought
Some years ago I saw proposals for diverting huge quantities of water from subarctic Canada to the western US, especially California. This assumed that California would have a population over 50 million. This was before global warming threatened to shift the storm track zone of winter westerlies completely away from about Cape Mendocino southward. Cape Mendocino is at roughly the latitude of Muncie, Indiana. San Francisco is at roughly the latitude of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Global warming could bring semi-desert conditions to San Francisco and desert conditions to Los Angeles.

As it is, the desert and semi-desert Southwest are already overpopulated with respect to water resources. Phoenix is the sixth-largest city in the US, and its water consumption already exceeds that of Philadelphia, a city unlikely to ever have a problem with a raw water supply. Not to say that it need not take care of waste water! Las Vegas could not exist except as a small city without the giant reservoir at Lake Mead. Tucson, Fresno, and Bakersfield are in the same condition. Los Angeles? San Diego? Almost the same.

San Francisco looks like a semi-tropical paradise despite the chill onshore breezes, but even it is on the fringe of sustainable water supplies. That is before I discuss Sacramento and San Jose.

The dry regions of the southwestern quadrant of the USA are likely to get hotter and drier -- and much less pleasant.

One climate projection that I saw had the subtropical High shifting away from the Gulf of Mexico into the southeastern USA, bringing drier conditions -- even desert-like conditions - to areas from about Dallas to Birmingham.

So far the Great Lakes States and the Canadian province of Ontario have been leery of having Great Lakes waters diverted elsewhere.
Last edited by pbrower2a; 07-17-2014 at 02:48 PM.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#20 at 07-17-2014 03:25 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Danilynn View Post
California will run out of water soon. But us backward ass hicks aren't any time soon. Enjoy your drought
No, Mississippi and most of the Eastern seaboard will have the exact opposite problem - too much water. We'll see how that's handled as AGW really takes hold.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#21 at 07-17-2014 03:28 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by annla899 View Post
Can't say that us Great Lake folks will run out of water, either. I just hope it remains potable. Thank goodness we have people here who do the work Danilynn does.
If the Canadians ever decide to get out of the oil business and partner with the Great Lakes states, they and you will be the water barons of the world. I assume it wil happen, but it may be after my sojourn here.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#22 at 07-17-2014 03:49 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
No, Mississippi and most of the Eastern seaboard will have the exact opposite problem - too much water. We'll see how that's handled as AGW really takes hold.
Right, and even when her house is flooded out, Danilynn will be screaming "where is my coal??"
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#23 at 07-17-2014 04:18 PM by nakile [at joined Jun 2013 #posts 48]
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The Great Lakes is off limits. I don't want to see it get piped away and bottled up in a world where global warming has begun to hit hard. It would just be kicking the can down the road. But if we reach that point we'll probably see it happen or at least be seriously attempted.

I've always thought that it's perfectly reasonable that that the end of the New Deal era and the start of the energy crisis are linked together. It was the first time since the 40s we had to start thinking that there were limits to what we can achieve and so, of course, we started once again thinking about how we'll divide up the less-ness it seemed we would one again have in the future. And like clockwork, we've slowly slipped into things like class, sexism, racism, nationalism and other dividing factors when deciding who will get what.

So I think a major closing point to this crisis will be sunsetting the oil era as we know it right now. It will solve much more than our energy issues.

And I hate to beat the nuke drum because people don't like to hear it, but I just have no idea what else is going to end this problem and get us back on track, get everybody believing once again that there's enough out there for every single person to live a satisfying life.

I feel like renewables are being pushed by business because energy in a renewable world will still be scare enough to get away selling it like they do fossil fuel. They can't comprehend doing business in a world where basic life needs like food and energy are no longer functionally scarce. So much profit in the business world comes from providing energy and they're rather contempt with that so they want to keep it going. We'll be the losers in this game they're playing, not the winners, and probably in a lot more ways than we can currently imagine.







Post#24 at 07-17-2014 05:20 PM by Danilynn [at joined Dec 2012 #posts 855]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
Right, and even when her house is flooded out, Danilynn will be screaming "where is my coal??"
Southern Girl, I can swim. My house is 5 feet off the ground on a pillared foundation. It was built in 1872 and has withstood numerous tornadoes and close enough to the coast to have lived through several F-5 hurricanes and come out unscathed. I'm pretty sure, with 4 fireplaces in our house we won't be cold, no coal needed.







Post#25 at 07-17-2014 05:27 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by nakile View Post
The Great Lakes is off limits. I don't want to see it get piped away and bottled up in a world where global warming has begun to hit hard. It would just be kicking the can down the road. But if we reach that point we'll probably see it happen or at least be seriously attempted...
If the projections are accurate, the GL area may be a rain forest, or at least wetter than it is now. Selling water may be completly sensible.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.
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